How to Not Be Ashamed
Today we begin Paul’s second letter to Timothy. This letter appears to be one of the last letters that Paul wrote to Timothy. He wrote this letter from prison, and it appears that Paul knows that his life on earth is drawing to a close. With this backdrop, we begin by looking at 2 Timothy 1. Though the opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ in our culture is not physical, it is certainly intellectual. To stand up for and to espouse the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ is being frowned upon more and more. The temptation is to shrink back, not share the good news of Christ and to even be ashamed of the truth. Paul writes the following paragraph to Timothy which I think is helpful for us today: 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Paul was writing this letter from prison because of his belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He encourages Timothy to be willing to share the same suffering and situation because of this gospel, the gospel that has saved both of them and has called them with a higher purpose than simply existing in this life. If you have been saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ you also have been called with a holy calling, to proclaim in word and actions the transforming power of Jesus Christ. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Paul’s last sentence is so important. Paul KNEW who he believed in and was persuaded that Jesus Christ was able to keep His commitments that He made to Paul. Are you persuaded in the same way? God’s ability and desire to keep His commitments to His people has not waned over the years. He will keep His commitments to you. Whatever the cost, whatever the consequences, stay committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. You will not be disappointed in what God does in and through your life.